The Demonstration Game

Hand the prearranged pack out for shuffling. The psychological handling is very important here. Annemann suggests that it be done in a very off-hand way (no suggestion of challenge should come in)—and after a few moments invite the shuffler to cut the cards. This cuts the shuffling process short.

Now lay the pack on the table. Point out that the cards have been shuffled and cut, and that you can honestly say that you have no idea of the position of a single card.

Cut off exactly half of the pack and deal five hands of poker, but deal every fifth card from the bottom. When the deal is finished, turn up the first four hands one at a time and show that they are valueless. After each hand has been shown turn it face down. The reason for this is that you do not want the hands to be compared with each other, as they will all be very similar to each other.

Turn up the fifth hand (your own) and show that it consists of four of a kind or a full house— possibly only two pairs if the shuffling has been too thorough. Lay this hand face up on one side. Collect the other hands without disturbing the order of the cards and lay them face down to form a discard heap.

You say, 'Perhaps you think that was a coincidence. I'll deal the remainder of the pack'.

Pick up the other half of the pack and again deal five hands. Once again you deal each fifth card from the bottom. Show the hands individually as before. After showing them add them to the discard heap. Now turn over your own hand. Again you hold the winning hand. Place it face up beside the first winning hand.

Incidentally you should now have two cards left over. Place these out of the way as if forgetting them. You do not want them in the discard heap, which is now stacked for the next deal.

You say, 'Sometimes gamblers are watched rather too closely. Would you cut the cards again please?' Push the discard heap across for cutting. 'Then they have to give everybody a good hand'.

Pick up the top twenty-five cards or so from the discard heap and deal five poker hands, but this time deal fairly. Turn up all the hands, leaving them face up. All will consist of full houses, two pairs, of hands of comparable value.

Place all these hands, face up, besides the two winning hands which you previously dealt. The array of hands is now beginning to look quite imposing.

At this point you are guided by circumstances. If the original shuffle was not too thorough, you now proceed to deal out the remaining fifteeen cards of the discard heap in the form of five hands of three-card brag. Turn these up and add them to the other hands. You are likely to turn up mostly pairs, with one or two sets of three of a kind.

You have now set out the entire pack with the exception of two cards in the form of winning hands of cards. Throw the odd two cards on top. There is a good chance that they will be a pair, setting the seal on an extraordinary contravention of the laws of chance.

Note on the Bottom Deal.

This sleight is commonly regarded as being very difficult. In fact it is not unduly so. It is no more difficult than the pass. The description given in Hugard and Braue's 'Expert Card Technique' is very sound. Do not try to bottom deal while holding more than half the pack, as this greatly increases the difficulty. The easiest way of understanding the peculiar hold of the cards which is involved is to have a demonstration from someone who has already mastered the sleight. Once acquired it is very easy.


If like myself you have a partiality towards billiard ball manipulation, you might like to try the following routine using, as I do, four "Vampire" sponge balls.

These balls need a certain amount of care, for the idea is to keep from the audience the fact that they are sponge. That means that they must not be visibly squeezed,

They will, also, probably be smaller than your usual size balls but one soon gets used to that. I carry four of them in my jacket pocket, and just before the performance I place two just inside the left hand side of my jacket, whilst one each is held in each side pocket.

The first move is to turn half left, and as the left hand is shown, the right one goes into the pocket and takes out the ball in the palm position. Don't worry about the palming, for sponge balls almost stick in position themselves.

The usual acquitment follows, both hands being shown empty—using the change-over palm —terminating with the hands held together, one on top of the other, with the ball pressed flat between them. Face the audience at this stage.

A kneading movement is now made and the hands slowly bend as though something is materialising between them. It does, for you show the lower hand with a ball resting on its palm.

I usually follow this with the throw up vanish, i.e. turning half left the ball is thrown up three times, but the last time it is slipped into the left hand (at waist level) just before the throw up.

The ball is produced from behind the right knee.

Another vanish is performed from the fist of the right hand—the usual wiping-off movement with the left hand as the ball drops into the right fist.

At this point a sly smile at the audience is appropriate as the right hand removes the ball from the inside right side of the jacket. The ball is held between the first and second fingers; at the same time the two balls inside the coat are

•ponge Balls


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